More of the same discussion. I am again responding to the person in italics.
The whole world is a sanctified place? Perhaps, in the same way that all the world's a stage. But front row tickets to the Globe Theater are a bit more expensive than the seat by the kitchen door at the Ashtabula Community Dinner Theater and Comedy Club precisely because one stage has been set aside to be specifically dedicated for a particular task and is generally occupied by people who are more systematically and intentionally pursuing that task than those who are jumping in and out of costume between curtain breaks so they can come out and serve you your pecan pie.
Whether it be taking your shoes off before you go in a mosque, keeping passover or sabbath, having a room without a television that one writes in because the distractions are less, or keeping ice cream in the storage freezer rather than pantry, it is not just Christians who have suggestsed or noted that dedicating a space to a particular function can facilitate the execution of that function. I honestly don't see how the whole world is "set apart" for a particular use. If everything is set apart, isn't that just the same as saying nothing is?
You know, I honestly don't care where I worship God. I care about what I and others believe, and how I and others live our lives, but I don't care about the building we meet in, or the lack thereof. Trees and open air work just fine. I don't care what people call that. They can call it the sanctuary, the nave, the metro park, or any other term. It doesn't matter. I don't care that much about the so-called aesthetics that are intended to lead me into a deeper worship experience, either. Because for me, and for many people, these factors are impediments to, not aids in, worshipping God. They become points of contention and pride, and at that point I just want to check out. I'm not saying that I don't have my own issues with contention and pride, because I certainly do. But I simply don't care about defining that particular "dedicated space" or the "proper aesthetics" all that rigidly. Life is too short, and I've already spent too much of my life harranguing and being harrangued over just those kinds of issues. And in the process I've frequently lost sight of what I think this is supposed to be all about -- loving and serving Jesus.
I will go wherever I can to find people who understand that loving and serving God and their fellow human beings is the highest priority of their lives. And at the risk of melodrama, I might literally die if that is not the focus of my life, and if others can't help me live that out in community, because I will simply return to the addictions that ruled my life for long stretches, and that may kill me next time. At the very least I will lose my family. So I have something at stake in this. But I am so heartily sick of people making smug statements about liturgical vs. contemporary worship, and when to stand up and when to sit down (on both sides of the liturgical/non-liturgical divide, by the way), and how big the cross over the pulpit should be, and whether it's a theological statement that the tallest pipe on the pipe organ is taller than the cross, that I just want to throw up my hands (in the non-worshipping sense) and bolt out the door. Better to have no doors at all. I cannot believe the amount of time and energy I and others have wasted over just those kinds of discussions and debates, and part of me is already regretting that I've been sucked in again.
I see so much of this as centering on pride. And I am a prideful man, and I don't know how to state that without coming across as an arrogant person myself. But I honestly don't mean it that way. But I really believe, deep down, that it's not nearly as complicated as we want to make it out to be. Love Jesus. Love other people. That's not hard to understand. It's easy to grasp, in fact. It's just hard to do. And so I find that, at least for me, these peripheral issues (at least as I perceive them) become a convenient excuse to avoid the much easier to grasp, much more difficult tasks of dying to self and living for Christ. And I get frustrated by that. That's all. Those statements are not directed to you, or to anyone in particular. I'm just noting the kinds of reactions that this kind of discussion elicits in me. I spent years in a church where people wanted to disfellowship one another because one side preferred choir robes and the other preferred electric guitars. See how these Christians harrangue one another. And it was a colossal waste of time, and distasteful for all the Christians involved, let alone for any non-Christians who may have been watching in astonishment and disgust from the sidelines. And who could blame them for their reaction? I'm not going to go through that again.